Charlotte Bronte published Jane Eyre on October 16, 1847 under the pseudonym, Currier Bell. The American edition appeared a year later.
The novel follows the classic Bildungsroman genre; structured as a coming-of-age story where Jane Eyre progresses from a young orphan to into a woman, and the reader follows the heroine's character development, emotional travails, and moral development.
The novel's setting is an unspecified location in northern England and famously travels through five distinctive stages: 1) Jane's childhood where, as an orphan at Gateshead Hall she is tormented by her cousin John; 2) she is then sent away to a charity school, Lowood School; 3) her governorship at Thornfield Hall where she falls in love with Edward Rochester; 4) her time with the Rivers family where she receives her first marriage proposal; 5) and finally her reunion and marriage to her beloved Rochester.
This novel is immensely popular and widely read in English speaking high schools around the world.